Maria Verchenova, Russian golfer
Maria Verchenova is a Russian professional golfer. She is the first Russian woman, who became a full-time member of Ladies European Tour in 2007. She has several top-10 finishes.
Maria was born on March 27, 1986 in Moscow. The girl studied at the Moscow Ballet School “Inspiration” from 1992 to 2002. Her father Vitaly Verchenov was interested in golf. In 1998 in Karlovy Vary Maria was engaged in golf too. Her first coach was Carl Skopovi. Now Maria works with Mark Walters.
Maria joined the United Federation of golf development. And as an amateur player she won the championships in Russia (2004, 2006), Latvia (2005), Slovenia (2005), Austria (2006) and became the winner of the Universiade in Turin in 2006.
Verchenova graduated from the Russian State University of Physical Culture, Sports and Tourism.
In 2004 and 2006 Verchenova was recognized as the best golfer of Russia. From 2000 to 2006 she was a member of the Russian national team.
In 2008, Maria became the first Russian golfer, who took part in the Womens British open. Verchenova is the only Russian participated in Euro Golf Tour.
In 2009, Maria became one of the most beautiful female athletes in the world, according to the portal Sports net.
In January 2011, the girl became the face of popular in Russia and in the world Italian brand of golf clothing CHERVO.
In 2012, she became the face of the sportswear brand Duca del Cosma.
“I am looking at Maria Sharapova, not because of the way she looks, but because of the way she plays, (…) I think Russian women are strong mentally. They are trying really hard and they are achieving things.”
In 2012, Maria married businessman Valery Balikoev. Her future husband Maria met at the Moscow City Golf Club. In May 2011 she was his coach.
On September 18, 2012 Verchenova gave birth to a daughter named Maria.
Maria has a sister Anna, who is also engaged in golf. In 2008 Anna became the national junior champion, took the third place in the Open Championship of Russia among adults, was the second in the open championship of Bulgaria, fourth in the Open Championship in Latvia. Now Anna works as a trainer at the Moscow City Golf Club.